New paper: The Effect of 311 Calls for Service on Crime in D.C. At Micro Places

I have a new pre-print posted, The Effect of 311 Calls for Service on Crime in D.C. At Micro Places, at SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Broken windows theory has been both confirmed and refuted with several different measures of physical disorder. Small experiments tend to confirm the priming effects of physical disorder on minor deviant acts, but measures based on order maintenance policing and surveys are much more mixed. Here I use 311 calls for service as a proxy for physical disorder, as it is a simple alternative compared to neighborhood audits or community surveys. For street segments and intersections in Washington D.C., I show that 311 calls for service based on detritus (e.g. garbage on the street) and infrastructure complaints (e.g. potholes in sidewalks) have a positive but very small effect on Part 1 crimes while controlling for unobserved neighborhood effects. This suggests that 311 calls for service can potentially be a reliable indicator of physical disorder where available. The findings partially confirm the broken windows hypothesis, but reducing physical disorder is unlikely to result in appreciable declines in crime.

And here are some maps of the crimes and calls per service per the regular grid I use as the neighborhood boundaries (because everything is better with some pretty maps!):

As always, if you have feedback I am all ears. This is what I signed up to present at ASC this fall, and is based on work in my dissertation.

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